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Survey: Customers Rate Cisco As Top Switch Vendor

Cisco is the highest-rated switch manufacturer in terms of overall customer satisfaction, according to a new survey by Infonetics Research. The study also found that cost tops the list of reasons why respondents might consider jumping from their existing switch vendor to a different vendor in 2005 and 2006.

The study shows that the LAN switch market is about to get interesting as users drop their brand preference in search of security and voice over IP features and cost savings. In "User Plans for LAN Switches," Matthias Machowinski found that users rated management, VLANs, 1G interfaces and Layer 3 routing protocols as the most important switch features. However, respondents showed interest in emerging switch technologies, with a particular focus on increasing security and improving network availability.

"As organizations seek to increase the security of their networks, and launch new technologies like voice over IP and wireless LANs, the requirements for LAN switches are changing," Machowinski said in a statement. "Integrated security and support for packet voice are the leading emerging technologies deployed with LAN switches, now and in 2006. Similarly, the companies we spoke to plan to double the percentage of switches with IPv6 and PoE capabilities between now and 2006."

Cisco Systems maintained its position as the top LAN switch manufacturer in terms of customer satisfaction, pricing, service and support. Nevertheless, Machowinski noted that the company may be vulnerable because price is the one area where Cisco doesn't score much higher than its competition.